BLOGS: Custom Client Service Solutions

Monday, August 31, 2009, 4:32 PM

Can we talk? Questions that need to be asked.....and answered

As Joan Rivers used to say: "Can we talk?"

Amidst the madness of 2009, clarity is in order. Much needed in the chaos is total understanding between the buyers of legal services and those who provide them. But how often do we really get to "ground truth?" The title of of Susan Scott's outstanding book tells us what we need now: "Fierce Conversations." See

My colleague, Pam Rothenberg, managing member of Womble Carlyle's Washington, DC office has created a list of questions that we hope will propel us. It'll take courage to have fierce conversations using questions like these, but what do we have to lose?

How are we doing in terms of the service we provide for you? Are the current projects we are doing with you just okay or WOW? Or, are we doing a half-baked job? Are we listening to your concerns? Do you “love us”…or merely “like us”…or, heaven forbid, “dislike us’?”

Is the service we provide, the result we achieve for you worth paying for? If so, why? If not, why not – how can we make it right, and then improve?

What is your impression about how our firm is perceived generally by buyers of legal services?

We have known you for awhile and would like to earn the right to provide you with a greater scope of legal services. Is there something holding you back from working with us? What specifically might we bring to the table in terms of substantive expertise or approach to legal service delivery (such as creative pricing, more effective client service teams or greater investment in you on an off-the-clock basis) that would incent you to buy more legal services from us? Is there any insurmountable obstacle that prevents you from working with us or expanding your work with us?

To what extent do you feel you can be safe if you buy legal services from us? In other words, have we established a basis for your trust? Do you feel secure in making a buying decision in favor of us? If so, what specifically influences you to do so? If not, what holds you back? How can we more earn more of your trust?

When you are facing a high impact problem personally or for your business, how can we best play a role in serving you and helping you to solve that problem?

When you realize that you are going to turn outside for assistance, what is your thought process as you consider law firms? To what extent am I and this firm on your list of firms to consider? What can I/we do to be at the top of your mind when a legal need arises?

How comfortable would you feel in calling me/us for help with ANY challenge you face, focusing here on needs that distinctly are NOT legal in nature?

What is the best means for us to engage with you to develop an ongoing understanding of your business and the challenges you face? How do we get our head in your game in the least intrusive manner for you (i.e., hanging out in your office; weekly meetings/call; offsite monthly meetings)?

We are driven to provide you extraordinary legal services. Our goal is to always give you a “WOW” experience. We want you to feel comfortable saying that you “can’t imagine a world without your firm?” What would that world specifically look like to you? How do we customize our service delivery to you so that it has the greatest impact and is the most responsive to your needs? What other law firms provide you with this “WOW” experience and what specifically are they doing to have this impact on you?

How do you think that the law firm industry is changing? How do you think it should change? How can we change to better serve you?

What type of investments can we be making in you and our relationship with you that would be most valuable to you? How can we best demonstrate to you that we cherish you?

The answers to these questions are the foundation for true Custom Client Service Solutions.

Can we talk?

New PWC commercial says a lot about what needs to happen in these turbulent times. Listen to our clients. Now more than ever.


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